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Keywords:

  • hemochromatosis gene;
  • hepatitis C virus;
  • porphyria cutanea tarda

Abstract:

Aim: It is not clear whether the mutations in hemochromatosis (HFE) gene and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection act independently in the pathogenesis of porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT). The prevalence of both risk factors varies greatly in different parts of the world. PCT patients from Hungary were evaluated to assess both factors.

Methods: The prevalence of C282Y and H63D mutations in the HFE gene was determined in 50 PCT patients and compared with the reported control frequencies. Furthermore, the presence of HCV infection was determined and related to the patients' HFE gene status.

Results: The C282Y mutation was found in 8/50 cases (three homozygotes and five heterozygotes), with an 11% allele frequency (vs. 3.8% control) (P<0.05). Seventeen patients were heterozygous, one was homozygous for the H63D mutation, allele frequency 19%, which did not differ significantly from the reported control prevalence of 12.3%. Twenty-two patients (44%) were HCV-RNA positive; six out of them were heterozygous for H63D mutation, one only for the C282Y mutation and one was compound heterozygous for both mutations.

Conclusion: HCV infection and HFE C282Y mutation may probably be independent predisposing factors for development of PCT in Hungarian patients.